Posts From October, 2011

LBE Privacy Guard: a must have for Android

If you have a phone or tablet with root access, you should definitely install LBE Privacy Guard!

This program acts as a filter to all applications, a window will appear to ask you whether or not to authorize the action.

The actions to be filtered are: phone calls, send SMS, access to contacts, network access, send your serial number or mobile number, send the GPS position.

It seems almost unnecessary, but helps a lot to find malicious applications!

Take, for example, Blob Blast, a malware that I found by chance.

First of all, let's explain how I found it: by clicking on a paid advertising into another unrelated application.

Why its programmer should spend money to advertise a free application that does not show even banner ads inside?

When we click on a banner advertisement, we must always consider the fact that for every click, are spent on average 30 cents. If 1000 people clicks the advertising, are being paid 300 euros. It means that the programmer expects to earn much, much more than 300 euro. But how he could make money if the application is free and does not show even banner ads?

With malware.

Let's see the permissions required when installing Blob Blast:

  • Services that cost you money:
    send SMS messages
    Allows application to send SMS messages. Malicious applications may cost you money by sending messages without your confirmation.
  • Network communication:
    full Internet access
  • Your personal information:
    read contact data
  • Allows an application to read all of the contact (address) data stored on your device.Malicious applications can use this to send your data to other people.
  • Phone calls:
    read phone state and identity
    Allows the application to access the phone features of the device. An application with this permission can determine the phone number and serial number of this phone, whether a call is active, the number that call is connected to and the like.
  • Storage:
    editing / deleting the contents of the SD card
  • Your Accounts:
    discover known accounts
    Allows an application to get the list of accounts known by the device.

Why a simple game like this, has permission to send SMS, read all the numbers and email contacts, go online and delete files on the sd card, when it should have no need to do that??

The answer comes to us with LBE Privacy Guard: When we open the game, we get told that the first thing the game does it to access the phonebook.

We want proof? If we disable the access to Internet, does not attempt to send the phonebook! It means that the game tries to access the Internet, and, only if it succeeds, tries to send the entire address book!

They probably want to sell user data to spammers, or, if the phone is in a particular country, send sms to premium numbers. For example, an application could subscribe you to some useless ringtone service with high weekly fee!

And so are all applications from Wee Cat Games! Forgotten Blocks, Tracy Says, Color Crash, are all malware! (Their contact details are also fake)

Here is an example of their ad:


I have already reported the problem to Google, hoping for a quick solution. Meanwhile, root your phone, install LBE Privacy Guard, it's free, and be more careful when you install an app